4:15 PM ET Update: As expected Hodgson goes back to Ontario.
Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have acquired defenceman Shane O’Brien and right wing Michel Ouellet in exchange for defenceman Lukas Krajicek and right wing Juraj Simek from the Tampa Bay Lightning. O’Brien will report to Vancouver and Ouellet will report to Manitoba.
Simek had an OK camp but was one of the first four cut. Ouellet was a cost savings waiver move by Tampa, but in him the Canucks have a guy one year removed from a 48 point campaign with the Penguins (playing alongside Crosby). He'll give Manitoba a nice first line with Krog and Grabner if Krog gets sent down.
Clearly the bigger news here is Krajicek, a throw in from the Luongo trade who appeared in 117 games for Vancouver but only notched 5 goals and 22 assists (though was out for a prolonged period of time last year with a shoulder injury). In his place comes O’Brien, drafted 250th in 2003 by Anaheim and is a potential top four defenseman who plays a similar game to that of Kevin Bieksa so, unless the latter is on the way out, the Canucks just got harder to play against though not necessarily better offensively.
Krajicek was slated to make $1.1 million this year before being an RFA next summer; O'Brien makes a bit over a million and is also an RFA next summer. Interestingly Ouellet makes more at $1.25 million a year and is an UFA at the end of the year.
In the meantime, here is Shane bashing fists with now-teammate Mattias Ohlund.
The Canucks finally lost a preseason game, dropping a 4-3 OT thrilla to the Ducks. Old pal Brendan Morrison took all nine minutes to become an asshole by notching the game opening goal on the power play. Mason "little Gaborik" Raymond scored two PP goals in the second to tie things up but then another old pal Nathan McIver (who was scooped up by Anahaim on waivers late last week) scored the OT winner. Somehow, in 18 career games with Vancouver, McIver was a -11 and couldn't notch a point much less a goal but it's a different story in Disneyland. Awesome.
The Canucks finished their '08 preseason with a 6-1 record, something they haven't done since the 1988 preseason.
Cody Hodgson finally got his NHL contract but it's more then likely he'll be sent to his junior team (the Ontario League's Brampton Battalion...go big Battle! Or whatever) when the final cuts come in a few days. Safe to say Vancouver drafted well with Hodgson and has a bluechip guy in a few seasons.
More line up changes could include Krog heading down to center Grabner in Manitoba and Wellwood could start on the fourth line with Hordichuk. Whatever...
On the offchance you aren't season previewed out yet, I posted some quick thoughts on the Canucks over at RumorMeThis.com if you are so inclined. As the season opener in a mere three days, three key things to remember:
1. Luc Bourdon will be honored prior to the game.
2. You can bet you arse we're drunkblogging the hell out of it, hoping for better results than last year.
3. Flames suck. Old faces Bertuzzi and Aucoin won't last 10 games without groin strains.